THE Sadc Election Observer Mission has urged MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai to accept defeat in the harmonised elections, with his allies echoing similar sentiments. Sadc Election Observer Mission leader Mr Bernard Membe, MDC99 leader Mr Job Sikhala and Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe secretary-general Mr Raymond Majongwe, yesterday spoke as a rampant Zanu-PF gobbled up constituencies like the early ’80s video game Pacman gobbles dots.
With 28 of out of the 210 National Assembly constituencies to report in, Zanu-PF had garnered 136 seats to MDC-T’s 46, amid indications the remaining constituencies were in Zanu-PF strongholds and were likely to catapult the revolutionary party beyond the 160-seat mark.
Speaking to the media after meeting President Mugabe at State House in Harare yesterday, Mr Membe — who is Tanzania’s foreign minister — said he would be meeting Mr Tsvangirai to advise him to accept defeat.
“I will be meeting the Prime Minister to talk to him because as I said, the pure democratic dispensation and maturity in the world is not about campaigning, it is not about voting, it is about conceding defeat even if it is so painful.
“I think that is our task to convince politicians that to complete this process of democratic requirement is to make a concession, to concede defeat, it builds you, it builds the country, that is the catch of politics and that is what we are trying to go and convince him.”
Mr Membe said the media also had a role to play in aiding politicians and the general populace to accept reality.
He said the media held immense power in dictating the course a country could take following a crucial event like an election.
“To me, this is a very important thing for the media to do because again the security of this country is also in your hands, if you want to disturb the country you can do that.
“It is important to tell the people to cool down to tell the people to accept defeat and again how to accept reality in politics, it happens everywhere.
“The only thing in this continent that disturbs peace is elections, the failure to accept defeat and we must do away with this.
“Once you enter into the game, you must know that there are losers and winners. If you lose, you must accept defeat, your credibility goes higher than what your fanatics may tell you and this is our call, just accept defeat no matter how much it pains, it is for the betterment of yourself, your nation and the region,” Mr Membe, who said the harmonised elections met Sadc guidelines on the conduct of democratic elections, said.
MDC99 leader Mr Job Sikhala yesterday warned Mr Morgan Tsvangirai against challenging the outcome of the election, saying that would mark the demise of his political career.
“If he challenges the election results, he will lose further. Look at the margins his people won in St Mary’s and other seats in Harare, it was very narrow. He must accept what is available and go back to the drawing board and map the way forward. Who will come out in the streets? They will not convince even a fly to come out in the streets. If they failed to mobilise the people to go to the polling stations and vote for them, how do they expect the people to go to the streets? These people (President Mugabe and Tsvangirai) have been working together and we have been warning him (Tsvangirai against that), but our advice fell on deaf ears,” he said.
Mr Majongwe also urged Mr Tsvangirai to accept defeat.
“Tsvangirai must know that in a contest there are three outcomes, victory, a draw and a loss. In this case the courts are there and he can pursue that option. Let us see the picture as the events unfold. In Zimbabwe, all the political parties have died after failing to remove Zanu-PF and if the MDC-T is a home grown party, it will survive but if it is a Western backed party, it will definitely die a natural death,” he said.